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The Ridiculous Hierarchy - Where are the Experts?

How many times have you thought looking at your colleagues, leader or manager "Who the hell hired you?" Yes, we all have been there. 

It is not the lack of innovation that is holding organisations back but the lack of experts. 

We have created hierarchies that eliminated the presence of experts and wonder why we lack innovation, why we make costly mistakes, and why we don't move forward. 

Blame the hierarchy and not your "Innovation box" in the canteen. 

You cannot replace experts with "Ideas Box in the canteen"! Only an incompetent manager or leader would think it is a good idea.

The current structure is built on titles and nobody is doing anything useful. We have a VP for every toilet roll you find in corporate offices. Supervisors don't supervise individual performance, managers don't manage team performance, and leaders don't lead organisational performance. They do stupid things based on Debbie's competency framework. They are asked to be innovative, have financial acumen, think critically and strategically, create strategies, lead and manage people, communicate well, aspire and influence others etc... So that's all they "do" but there is no expertise behind any of it. You have a stupid guy as a head of Finance with no finance qualification. You have the head of HR with a diploma in computer science. You find a VP of revenue with social science studies (Not economics! God forbid) or Engineers with no qualification whatsoever. Instead, we have layers of team leaders, supervisors, assistant managers, managers, assistant directors, directors, senior directors, VPs, then senior VS, then area and cluster stupid roles, COOs and a CEO but no experts. The amount of stupidity is what is holding and ruining organisations caused by the title mentality we have created. We reward titles but no expertise. 


What you need is four layers; Executors, managers or supervisors (one of them) who manage the performance of the executors, experts who feed information, strategies, expertise, recommendations, trends etc. upward, and a leader who communicates those back down and leads organisational performance. That's it. 


Experts are highly paid individual contributors who work together and advise the leader. They do not mean to lead or manage people and if you look at them you will find that they don't even want to. People with no expertise default to managerial and leadership roles because that's all they can get as prestige and that's the only way they can make money. As long as organisations keep their hierarchies the way it is now (we cannot earn more unless we become managers and leaders instead of experts) nothing will change. You will have people who are not good at anything because they have no expertise and they cannot even supervise, manage or lead people. They don't even want to, just look at your people. 


Management and leadership are general, an occupation not a profession. Occupations typically focus on specific tasks or activities, while professions involve specialized knowledge and skills. A profession requires formal education or training, occupation is task completion and general stuff like an MBA that is worth absolutely nothing. Those will be the managers and leaders because they cannot valuably contribute to anything without in-depth knowledge. 


Companies could start this process by creating expert career paths that specialise their people in certain areas so they have more choice than being a stupid manager everyone looks at and asks "Who the hell hired you and based on what?" 


Executors - Execute

Managers or supervisors (one of them) - Manager the performance of executors

Experts (advisors) - Provide strategies, ideas, expert knowledge etc to the leader 

Leader - Pass the message, strategy, idea back down and lead organisational performance


Cut the rest of the crap out if you want performance.


PS: My company implemented an LMS system that doesn't work but costs us millions of euros. Why? Because we had a CHRO who thought being cool meant putting her feet up on the chair during meetings and saying "You know I am a psychologist I can see what you think. She studied psychology decades ago and was not a psychologist. She was a generalist, given a role that required specialised focus and expertise which she didn't have. The cost: €4.2 million. Well done! At least she got fired for it. 


Exciting news! My second book, "Blind Leading the Disengaged - From Kindergarten to Employee Experience," is dropping in April! It's a treasure trove of solutions and cool ideas to shake up your people management game. But before we get there, let's chat about where we're at now—The Corporate Kindergarten, as I spilt the beans in my first book. Check it out, and let's transform your workplace from a daycare to an awesome employee experience hub!:




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